Questions tagged [vowel-quantity]

For questions about vowel length.

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6 votes
1 answer
173 views

Unexpected long vowels in Plautus before a word-final T

In a comment to my answer on a vowel length question, Vincent Krebs pointed out that Plautus does not follow the classical rules that I laid out: Plautus does not always shorten the vowel before -t. ...
7 votes
1 answer
245 views

Vowel Quantity in Third Person Plural of Passive Voice

Cārī collēgae, The third person plural of the passive voice in the present stem has a peculiarity that I noticed a couple of weeks ago (far later than I should have, I might add) and have been curious ...
6 votes
1 answer
519 views

Why does the length of a vowel before verb endings change?

I'm learning Latin and I see that the stem I am supposed to add things onto keeps changing from long to short and back again. For example, take teneō, tenēre, tenuī, tentum. As I see the present ...
4 votes
1 answer
128 views

In L&S, why are some vowels neither short nor long?

In Lewis and Short, some vowels aren't marked. For example in this entry (chosen at random) dŭŏ-dē-vīginti, card. num., eighteen, Plaut. Poen. 4, 2, 74 sq.; Cic. Ac. 2, 41, 128; id. Rep. 2, 22; Caes. ...
5 votes
1 answer
169 views

Short vs long i in inest vs īnsunt

Why is the i in inest short, while the i in īnsunt is long? As far as I know (see for example https://glosbe.com/la/en/insum, or LLPSI), the conjugation of this verb in the present tense goes like ...
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4 votes
1 answer
149 views

What are the vowel quantities in “einsteinianus”?

If I am correct, the adjective derived from the last name of Albert Einstein is “einsteinianus, -a, -um” (it is similar in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese). I know that the suffix is “-ānus” but how ...
7 votes
3 answers
615 views

What is the correct vowel quantity for words formed from sĭ̄gn-?

My dictionary (Latinsk ordbok – latinsk–norsk, Cappelen, Oslo 2007) has for all instances of words with sĭ̄gn- a long ī, e.g.: īnsīgniō, 4. īnsīgnis, adj. m. komp. (sīgnum) īnsīgne, is, n. sīgnātē, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
32 views

About stress marks and conventions

I've followed an advice about studying stress marks. I find very elegant putting all the breves and macrons. But, in differents dictionaries several conventions are used. For example, the word consŭl, ...
3 votes
1 answer
170 views

Sapphic metre in Catullus 51.10

I am trying to understand the metre of Catullus 51, and this line has me baffled: tintinant aurēs, gemina teguntur The standard sapphic eleven-foot metre is – ⏑ – ⏓ – ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –, that is 𝅘𝅥 𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥 (𝅘𝅥...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is it rare to elide the final vowel if it is long?

In the Ars Poetica we find the line: posse linenda cedro et levi servanda cupresso which pedecerto scans as Pṓssĕ lĭnḗndă cĕdro‿ḗt lēuī́ sēruā́ndă cŭprḗsso In C.O. Brink's commentary on Horace we ...
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9 votes
1 answer
244 views

Knowing the two quantities of 'est'

There are several forms of ĕsse and ēsse (= edere) that only differ by the quantity of the initial vowel, perhaps the most common one being ĕst/ēst. How do we know this difference in quantities? ...
6 votes
1 answer
112 views

Why is ū long in "Vitruvius"?

Lewis & Short and Gaffiot's dictionaries both mark long ū in the name Vitrūvius. How do we know this, and do we know the reason for it? In my experience, most words with the sequence -uvi- + vowel ...
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8 votes
1 answer
124 views

Was vowel quantity observed when singing?

It's well established that vowel length was phonemic in Latin, and that it played an important role in poetic verse. It seems probable to me that it also mattered when singing, but do we have evidence ...
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5 votes
1 answer
681 views

Why is the prefix con- sometimes short, sometimes long?

A friend sent me this image: Her question was simple: Is the Latin any good? The Latin indeed is good, and if one accepts the English to be in LOLcat, the English checks out as well. However … I also ...
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5 votes
1 answer
124 views

Compensative lengthening of ε and ο to η and ω in Homeric Greek

In the grammar section of Pharr and Wright’s Homeric Greek section 601, the following is stated: The loss of one or more consonants in a word usually occasions the lengthening of the preceding vowel. ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
2k views

How did Caesar pronounce Latin overlined vowels?

I am a beginner with Latin and am confused about the overlined vowels. The textbook I have explains these via vowels of English words, but I think that is unsatisfactory, because when learning other ...
5 votes
2 answers
243 views

Syllable and mora count for long vowel with iota subscript?

Introduction I have begun learning Ancient Greek with the revised edition of Clyde Pharr’s work. Some of the case endings are (as expected) slightly different than what I have seen to be the case in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
55 views

Can vowel length be detected somehow in prose?

There are some words that appear to be complete homonyms other than by the length of a vowel. For example, there is the word labellum, which can mean either a lip (part of the body) or a basin/sink. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
353 views

What is the correct vowel quantity for the participle of legō?

In the following, vowel quantities which I am uncertain of, will be marked with both a breve and a macron, so they should not be considered the answer; that is what I am searching for. This whole ...
  • 3,271
4 votes
1 answer
84 views

Which is correct? Eugenius or Eugenīus or both?

Checking the dictionary entries for Eugenius, I was surprised to find different vowel quantities depending on whether it was the adjective or the noun. As you can see from the screenshot above, ...
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6 votes
1 answer
423 views

The correct use of the breve in Latin

Correct me if I'm wrong. There are 6 diphthongs in Latin: ae au ei eu oe ui So if one were to encounter ăĕ it would follow that both vowels would be short and do not together form diphthong which ...
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5 votes
2 answers
387 views

Does vowel quantity ever change in the root of a word during conjugation?

I have built a database of Latin words but am having a few problems. I have two databases, one is from Python's CLTK, the other is from online-latin-dictionary.com (OLD). The Python database is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
221 views

Inconsistent use of short and long vowel signs

To my knowledge every vowel is either long, short or belongs to a diphthong, there are no vowels which are medium in length. If a vowel belongs to a diphthong, it seems that modern writers will mark ...
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5 votes
2 answers
349 views

Why is the root vowels of 'salsus' and 'saliō' from 'sāl' shortened?

Working my way through the Duolingo course, I noticed that salsus has a short root vowel, even though sāl, sālis¹ is long-voweled. The etymology entry on Wiktionary states that the adjective is from ...
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9 votes
2 answers
954 views

Is the 'i' in 'videt' long or short?

I am currently reading Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, where he thankfully makes use of the macron to distinguish long vowels form short ones. However, and I have seen this elsewhere as well,...
5 votes
1 answer
58 views

Why does ‘lūdīs’ end in a short syllable in Ov. Ep. Sapph. 16?

In Ovid’s Epistulae 16.152–153, the following two lines are found (‘eligiac couplet’, I believe is the term in English): mṓre tuǽ gentī́s nitidā́ dum nū́da palǽstrā̆    lū́dis et és ...
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7 votes
1 answer
124 views

Is there a dictionary for pronunciation explanations?

All dictionaries I have seen that state vowel quantities simply state them but do not explain how the quantity of each vowel was determined. The same goes for the distinctions between vocalic and ...
7 votes
1 answer
364 views

Did Latin ever have a rule of lengthening vowels in monosyllables ending in /s/?

I was surprised by the following portion of "Exceptions to rhotacism", by Kyle Gorman (2012): Latin has a bimoraic minimal word requirement, implemented by a process of Subminimal ...
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8 votes
3 answers
692 views

Vowel shortening before another vowel: Exceptions

I am rather ashamed to admit that I used to pronounce Alexandrea (or Alexandria, cf. Ἀλεξάνδρεια) incorrectly in Latin, that is I mistakenly applied the famous rule "vocalis ante vocalem ...
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9 votes
1 answer
248 views

How do I know if there's an "invisible yod"?

I've been told that the first syllable of abiciō is long by position, because it's actually an underlying *abjiciō, which causes it to be syllabified as *ab-ji-ci-ō before the *ji simplifies to i. So ...
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5 votes
1 answer
165 views

Found eius but pēius in the same text: is it some kind of mistake?

While I was reading Lingua Latina per se Illustrata - Familia Romana, I noted something: the vocabulary list has ĕius but pēius, is that by accident? Also I noted meī as mēī in line 92 of chapter 25, ...
3 votes
1 answer
75 views

Are the two types of lustra distinguishable?

One meaning of the word lustrum is a sacrifice for purification done every five years; another is a house of ill repute. I'd always figured that the two were complete homophones. However, someone ...
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5 votes
1 answer
504 views

Under what conditions can "length by position" occur, and what does it actually mean?

I am studying Latin and one of the definitions in my textbook is kind of confusing. A syllable can be long in one of two ways: Length by nature. If the syllable contains a long vowel or ...
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4 votes
2 answers
288 views

How long is a banana?

The word banana and variants thereof appear in a number of languages. The origin appears to be the word banaana in Wolof, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. This word is straightforward to adopt into ...
2 votes
0 answers
67 views

What evidence is there of a short vowel in the first syllable of "vallum"?

Two sources that I've come across indicate a long vowel /aː/ in the first syllable of the word vallum 'palisade wall' (that is, vāllum). This form is given in The Latin Language, by Charles E. ...
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6 votes
0 answers
111 views

What is the etymology of Ἁμαδρυάς (Hamadryas)? Is the second alpha actually long?

I am trying to find more information about the formation and pronunciation of the Greek noun Ἁμαδρυάς, taken into Latin as Hamadryas. L&S transcribes the second a of the Latin form with a macron: ...
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3 votes
0 answers
68 views

What is the nature of variation between αι and α in (Pre-)Greek words?

When trying to answer a previous question about the patronymic derived from Asclepius, I came across the following quotation from Beekes in the Wikipedia entry on Asclepius: The name is typical for ...
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6 votes
1 answer
136 views

An unambiguous example of 'īt'

The regular perfect them form for "he went" is iit. In an answer to this question about two short versus one long vowel, TKR mentions that this form can be contracted to īt. In a text without macrons ...
5 votes
1 answer
259 views

What is the evidence for a long vowel in χριστός "anointed" and Latin Christus?

The Greek word χριστός, used as a translation of Hebrew משיח "messiah", and meaning something like "anointed" (Liddell and Scott), apparently has a long vowel in the first syllable....
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7 votes
2 answers
414 views

What evidence points to a long ō in the first syllable of nōscō's present-tense form?

I've read in various sources that the verb nosco 'know' had a long vowel in the first syllable in Classical Latin pronunciation: nōscō [noːskoː]. I'm wondering what the linguistic evidence is for the ...
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5 votes
2 answers
325 views

Does any Greek word have a geminate consonant after a long vowel?

I recently noticed a pattern in loans from Hebrew into Greek: the letter šin (or sin, or łin if you're really archaic) is transcribed σσ after a short vowel, σ elsewhere. My knowledge of Classical ...
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5 votes
0 answers
127 views

How many vowel qualities did Oscan have?

Oscan was an Italic language related to Latin, which died out somewhere in the early centuries CE. It's notable for being used in the Fabulae Atellanae and for being the source of various loans into ...
  • 56.2k
2 votes
2 answers
364 views

Where can I get a reliable list of words with macrons on?

When people are adding macrons to text, how do they know where the macrons should be? Is there a list somewhere? e.g. insula -> īnsula or īnsulā maxima -> maxima or māxima etc. I'd like to ...
6 votes
1 answer
272 views

In ancient Attic Greek, how (un)stable were "ΝΣ"/"ΝΖ" and preceding vowels?

In Latin, it is thought (as far as I know) that within a single word, /ns/ and /nf/ were always preceded by a long vowel. This is a somewhat complicated result of a hypothesized sound change in words ...
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3 votes
0 answers
165 views

Are there specific exceptions to the rule of lengthening a vowel before "ns" or "nf"?

A while ago, I wrote an answer summarizing my understanding of the rule that a vowel is long in Classical Latin before ns or nf. As far as I know, this rule applied very regularly. But I'm not sure ...
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8 votes
1 answer
151 views

Is the U long or short in the forms ussi and ustus of the verb ūro?

I'm uncertain about the length of the u in the perfect and perfect passive participle stems of the verb uro /uːroː/. My research Lewis (1890) gives "ūrō ūssī, ūstus" but doesn't explain why....
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2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Using "R" to mark vowel length

When messaging a British colleague, I noticed something interesting in the orthography. Where I would write "she killed" as necāvit, she writes necarvit. In a non-rhotic accent, this makes perfect ...
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8 votes
2 answers
319 views

Was the old ablative pronoun "med" or "mēd"?

In Classical times, the first singular ablative pronoun ("from me") was mē, with a long ē. However, the older form seems to have been med, with a final -d. Do we know whether this earlier form was ...
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5 votes
1 answer
612 views

Quality of final ĕ ĭ ŏ

Evidence from the Romance languages provides fairly good evidence for distinct qualities, [ɛ] vs. [eː], for ĕ and ē in stressed syllables when followed by a consonant. Likewise for ŏ and ō as [ɔ] vs. [...
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2 votes
2 answers
172 views

Do contracted perfects have long or short vowels?

Many verbs have a suffix -v- in the perfect tense, which tends to disappear (or "contract" or "syncopate") before the ending: amā- > amāvisti > amāsti "you loved", audī- > audīvisti > audīsti "you ...
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